The writer in front of us here has very distinguished features which make him ideal as a portrait subject. His nose is highly prominent and this helps to reflect light down the bridge of his nose. He is dressed smartly, though is elderly age is reinforced by the walking stick that he holds in his left hand. He has some papers in the top pocket of his brown jacket and a loosely done tie which is the style of Spain in that period. His moustache is bushy but relatively well groomed. His hair is short, and a large burst of light cuts across his forehead. Over a white shirt we see a dark blue waistcoat and Benito looks in our rough direction, but not directly at us. In his right hand he carries either an pencil or perhaps a smoking instrument. He sits alongside a bright seascape painting that comes in from the top left of the painting, and is most likely to have been another of Sorolla's, such was his fondness for that genre and also the bright palettes that he often made use of.
According to the date of the painting, the author would only have been around 51 years of age at the time of this portrait, but elements of his appearance might suggest him to actually be older. This painting was later purchased by his grandchildren and from that point it has mainly been out on display in Gran Canaria. It is not as famous as some of the artist's other portraits, particularly those of his family, but there is still much to appreciate here from a technical standpoint. Sorolla himself became a highly skilled portrait painter, though most of his work in this genre was not in the traditional sense of portrait painting, where someone actually purposely poses for the artist, as seen here. In many of his other scenes there would be more of a focus on capturing people going about their daily lives, with some entering the world of social commentary.
Visitors to the Casa-Museo Pérez Galdós, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will normally be able to see this painting in person, but check ahead to make sure that it is on display if you are specifically wanting to see it. Aside from that, there are plenty of other items to interest most art followers too, despite this being more of a provincial gallery as opposed to the huge venues found in the nation's capital, Madrid. The island venue is focused on the life of the author and has a number of other portraits of him by other artists as well as a series of texts from his lifetime. There is also other information on the island itself which may also be of interest to its many visitors.